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Catherine’s Carrot Cake with Cream-Cheese Frosting

By , from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Serves 10
Total Time 1½ hours


My friend Catherine makes this carrot cake for her family’s birthday parties. As soon as the kids finish theirs and run off to play, the adults move in for seconds, and also have been known to zero in on the half-eaten slices left behind by the children — it’s that good. For a variation, substitute Chinese five-spice blend for the cinnamon and nutmeg.



cups sugar
cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. nutmeg
3 cups finely grated carrots


2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
4 tsp. vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper, then butter and flour the paper and pans.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat together the sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices, then add to the sugar mixture. Stir in grated carrots and mix until combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly among the pans. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool pans on rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto racks and cool completely. (The cakes can be baked one day before serving, kept tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.)
  4. Make the frosting: Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with a stand mixer or an electric handheld mixer until blended. Gradually add the powdered sugar, sifting it over the butter mixture, beating until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cake.


Culinate editor’s note: For 14 to 16 cupcakes and frosting, halve both the cake and frosting recipes. Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes, then cool on a rack before frosting.

This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

There are 2 comments on this item
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50% recommend this recipe
1. by Penny P on Mar 25, 2010 at 3:06 PM PDT

If you’re talking about the Catherine I know, she doesn’t make anything that isn’t amazingly good! She knows how to choose a good recipe, tweak them, and/or create them!!

2. by kelly on Aug 13, 2011 at 9:29 AM PDT

For finely grated carrots, do I use the smaller holes on the box grater?

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